How to become a Product Designer? (Beginner to Pro)

Learn the steps to becoming a product designer without prior experience or formal education. Get professional advice on how to start your profession from a product designer. How can you get started in product design?

Product design may be a demanding and rewarding career. Although there are other routes you can pursue, we'll provide you with some advice on becoming a product designer in this article. 


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Due to the variety of product design specialties available, you can choose one based on your interests or abilities, and this career offers a wide range of career prospects.

Knowing more about this design position and how to apply for it can help you determine if it might fit your skills and career objectives. This guide will concentrate on identifying the requirements for developing your career as a product designer without any prior experience in the field.

How To Become a Product Designer?

One of the first things to consider is how much schooling you need if you want to work as a product designer. A bachelor's degree is held by 61.0% of product designers, according to Zippia's research. In terms of higher education, we discovered that master's degrees are held by 8.4% of product designers

Even though most product designers hold a college degree, becoming one requires only a high school diploma or GED. There are numerous ways to become a product designer, as it is a position that wears many hats. Here are some ideas to get things started.

  1. Analyze the Needed Skills
  2. Meet the Qualification Criteria 
  3. Acquire the Technical Knowledge 
  4. Take an online course to improve your skills. 
  5. Begin in roles that are related. 
  6. Create a robust Portfolio 
  7. Grow Your Network 
  8. Look for a Mentor 

Analyze the Needed Skills

If you're curious about becoming a product designer, the best way to enter the field is by arming yourself with the appropriate skill sets.

To be a good product designer, you need to possess technical abilities, such as

  • Interaction in UI
  • Basic HTML and CSS knowledge
  • Graphic Design / Visual Design
  • Information Architecture
  • User Experience Design
  • Team Collaboration
  • Soft skill: Problem-solving, emphatic and analytical thinking
  • Customer Centric
  • AB testing / User Testing
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Meet the Qualification Criteria

Formal education in the profession is necessary for many successful product designers. Now, even though a college degree may not be required, possessing one will give you an advantage over rivals.

In addition, you might choose to specialize in a particular area. You can pick from various product design course from Dribbble that work with international institutes. These can assist you in developing your portfolio and advancing your profession.

Acquire the Technical Knowledge

Learning coding languages like C++, HTML, CSS, and UI/UX design, as well as prototyping, testing, user research, and visual design, are crucial for product designers. 

  • Tools for visual design: 

Customers might be delighted by a product's aesthetic appeal, which can improve the user experience. Having an eye for beauty and familiarity with visual design tools are frequent requirements in job descriptions. These includes Sketch, Figma, or Adobe Creative Cloud. Figma is the most recommended tool to begin with.

  • UX/UI: 

One of the most critical aspects of product design is comprehending users' goals, challenges, and emotions. Wireframing, prototyping, research, and testing product features are technical skills that may be learned. Tools for prototyping include Framer, Principle, and Figma. 

  • Experience in leadership or project management: 

As a product designer, it can be helpful to have experience thinking, strategizing, and seeing the broader picture of a process. Having experience managing projects is optional, but knowledge of planning, supervising, or carrying out projects can be helpful.

Take an online course to improve your skills. 

It's essential to stay current with the most recent advancements and trends in product design because technology is advancing quickly. Your design abilities can be enhanced, which will advance your profession.

If you want to advance your profession in product design, look into Dribbble's online certification course. It is one of the best opportunity for beginners to learn to get hired right of the bat.

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Begin in roles that are related. 

A product designer's path to success can be challenging. Working in roles that expose you to many parts of product design will help you develop relevant experience.

Depending on your skill set, you can start in professions related to information architects, graphic designers, copywriters, or user experience designers.

Create a robust Portfolio

Gaining expertise in product design may be very valuable, just like it can in any other design discipline. You can hone your abilities and prepare for employment through internships, freelance work, or helping with small businesses.

Recommended tool to create your portfolio: Webflow

Here are some example portfolios:

Grow Your Network

A fantastic way to find inspiration in the product field of design is to establish a network of like-minded people. It might assist you in researching potential career paths in the industry, locating clients, or even creating a design-related community with other nascent design lovers.

A fantastic approach to expanding your network is to go to seminars, workshops, conferences, and meetings.

Look for a Mentor

Taking on complex design elements while you're a newbie can be confusing. A mentor in the field of product design can point you in the right way and support you as you face obstacles. Additionally, having a mentor can inspire you to maximize your potential and receive helpful criticism of your work. 

What is a product designer?

Product designer is the person in charge of the user experience, user interface and overall design process of a product.

The term " product design " describes digital creations, websites, and apps, as a product designer makes commercial designs for already-existing products to enhance their utility.

They frequently finish their development process by determining a problem or user demand and looking into viable solutions. 

  • It used to only refer to the packaging of goods that could be purchased at physical stores. 
  • However, it currently covers much more than that. 
  • Thus, the fundamental idea still holds: design becomes a top priority in standing out in a market always oversaturated with new goods and concepts.
  • By developing design-based solutions for new products or improving existing ones, product design improves user experiences. 

Fundamentally, design thinking, which centres on prioritizing customer's requirements, forms the basis of this method. Generally speaking, product designing is recognizing a market need for a product, defining the critical issue to solve, developing a solution, and testing it with your target market to gauge and improve your performance. 

Product designer salary

An experienced product designer often earns $120,000 annually. However, the amount may change depending on your position, location, credentials, and industry expertise. For instance, the median compensation for a lead product designer is about $67,130, while the pay for an entry-level role is about $56,479 annually.

Entry-level Product Designer salary 

Entry-level product designers typically need more industry expertise because they have recently graduated from college or are starting a new career. Entry-level Product Designers in the USA typically earn $56,479 a year. 

Junior Product Designer salary

A junior product designer often has one to three years of experience in the industry. You'll still be learning about the profession, but you can now collaborate with others and produce valuable work. Aim for positions paying roughly $67,130 per year if you're a junior product designer seeking employment in the USA.

Mid-level product designer salary

Typically, mid-level product designers have 3 to 8 years of industry experience. They are experts in their field and frequently generate more high-calibre work than less experienced Product Designers. A mid-level product designer in the USA typically earns $95,000 a year.

Senior product designer salary

Based on 390 salaries, the average compensation for a Senior Product Designer in their first year of employment is $119,059 (including bonuses, overtime pay, and tips).

Based on 1,087 salaries, the average pay for a senior product designer in their mid-career with 5–9 years of experience is $124,317. Based on 514 salaries, the average pay for a senior product designer with 10 to 19 years of experience is $128,937. Employees in their late careers (20 years or more) make an average annual salary of $122,350.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does a product designer make good money?

A product designer needs extensive industry knowledge and sufficient experience in product design; this is not an entry-level role. Working in similar positions like project management, information architecture, or UX/UI design might help you launch your career. The median pay for UX, UI and graphic designers in the USA is higher than the average total salary for product designers. However, a lot will depend on your abilities, the business, and the industry.

What technical knowledge do I require to be a product designer? ‎ 

Product designers can benefit from having a wide range of technical abilities, including interaction/UI design, UX design, and visual design. Additionally, you might find it helpful to be familiar with one or more design applications, such as:
Interaction in UI
Basic HTML and CSS knowledge
Graphic Design / Visual Design
Information Architecture
User Experience Design
Team Collaboration
Soft skill: Problem-solving, emphatic and analytical thinking
Customer Centric
AB testing / User testing

What factors affect the product designer's pay? 

The abilities, prior experience, business size, and industry of a candidate all affect the typical income of a product designer.

A career as a product designer requires a clear path. Nevertheless, you should pursue this career if you have studied information architecture, engineering, psychology, product design, or similar fields. 

You can raise your typical base income by showcasing your professional advancement and commitment to a project. Work on your technical and soft abilities, foster user empathy, practice visual attention, and engage your imagination. A successful product designer ought to have a broad understanding of product development.

Is it hard to switch to a product design career?‎

Making the switch to product design is relatively easy. The abilities you already possess, such as problem-solving, communication, and empathy, can be applied to this position.

If you're considering switching, concentrate on learning the technical skills and software you'll need. Examine some job postings for product design to determine where to concentrate your efforts. 

What talents are transferrable to product design? 

Teamwork, empathy, attention to detail, communication, and a growth attitude are essential transferable talents for entering the area of product design.

Is the field of product design a suitable carrier? 

A person who wants to pursue a coveted career in product design must be imaginative, have a great sense of aesthetics, and possess excellent technical abilities.

The decisions made by a product designer, who is involved at every stage of the design process, determine how a product will develop. Product designers can earn even higher incomes as their expertise and skill set increase, and their average pay is competitive. 

For a career in product design, what should I study? 

A person who wants to pursue a coveted career in product design must be imaginative, Engineering, architecture, and industrial design are common university majors that help lay the groundwork for product design.

The fields of graphic design, psychology, art, and organizational behaviour are also important to product design. Although there is no obvious path to product design, studying these can help you develop the necessary abilities. 


It takes a lot of effort and perseverance to succeed as a product designer.

But if you're interested in assisting others in achieving their objectives and have a sound mind for putting things together, you already have everything you need to get started.

Wishing you luck and a joyful design career!

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Article by
Ashwin Mason
I am a product designer, been designing softwares for a living for over 8 years.
I review the best software for freelance designers, photographers, and developers to run their businesses and hire the most appropriate freelancers for your project.
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Become a Product Designer with Certification with Dribbble

16 weeks program by Dribbble, enroll ASAP